Opening reception with Mr. Henderson, Saturday, October 30, 5-7 pm
Exactly five years ago, On October 30, 2005, Astroworld closed its gates for the last time, yet the Alpine Sleigh Ride, Le Taxi, Spinout, the Astrowheel, Astroneedle and the Lost World Adventure live on for the 50,000 Houstonians who visited the park on its opening weekend and the millions who followed them.
Optical Project is commemorating this Houston landmark by presenting the park's original model, built in 1967 by Ed Henderson Productions. The model represents "The Wonderful World of Fun" as originally planned, with the attractions and rides in place for the grand opening of the park in June 1968. The model is based on the park layout designed by seminal theme park architect Randall Duell for Judge Roy Hofheinz, flamboyant developer of the Astrodomain.
Henderson's model was used to help visualize the park's landscape during construction, and was then unveiled to the press in September of 1967 at Foley's Department Store. After the park's opening, the model resided in Hofheinz's private model room on the Astrodome's 9th level. When Astroworld was being dismantled in 2006, the model was found in a warehouse, sawn into six irregular pieces and covered in dirt. A friend alerted Henderson, and the model was returned to him. For this exhibition, Optical Project has dusted and re-assembled the model; we are looking for a buyer who has the resources to preserve and restore this bit of Houston history.
About Optical Project
Optical Project is an artist-run gallery by Houston artist and writer Bill Davenport. It is located near the intersection of Studewood and 11th Sts. in Houston Heights, next door to DaCapo's bakery and Bill's Junk.